November 29, 2017

Love and Struggles - Episode 2

Shade cracked her knuckles and sighed

“You better take am easy, girlfriend” A lady sitting adjacent to her said softly
“Thank you Tracy, these things can just kill someone, ehn” She replied
“You ladies should please now… Wait till the short time break” A young man in the same office said feigning seriousness

The department consist of four other staffs apart from Shade whose tasks were to deal with entering data into the company’s server likewise providing those data when the need arise. Out of those five, a young man named Dickson was the only male gender among them.
     After he was transferred from the Customer Support department to the department where Shade works, he at first felt awkward noticing the difference but as time goes on, he got used to it and would simply smile whenever he’s being teased.

“Am sure you meant to say you’re enjoying our conversation, Dickson” Tracy, another staff in the department said without removing her fingers from the keyboard
“You aren’t serious” The young man smiled, stood up and then walk towards a printer machine nearby to fetch the document which he just printed

    Shade was glad to have the duo of them in her department. Ssometimes their drama makes her feel relieved whenever she’s getting burned out and she had even once told the two of them that they would make a fine couple in the future as they seemed to get along. Other members of the department laughed at the remark while the two of them simply looked at each other before making a disapproval nod.

    Shade stared at the papers lying on her table and try to make a frantic effort to finish some of them before short break. Mid-way to one of the document, her phone beeped indicating a new voice message. She ignored the notification and decided to check whatever it is during the break period which she presume would soon be announced.

   Their company maintains a flexible schedule which allows some of the staffs to have a short break after working for some hours. The Co-founder of the company who about four months earlier introduced the idea said “the short break would help to increase productivity by reducing staff’s workload stress”.
    At the board meeting where they are to discuss about the idea, some of the board members politely disagree saying it would have no effect or worse- an adverse effect. The opposition party furthermore stated they see no reason why something like that should exist since the daily working hours are not so that long compared to other companies like them.
      When a vote was finally carried out, the percentage ratio of those who were in support to those who opposed were fifty-four to forty-six percent and this made the company board members to arrive at a decision on giving it a try and see how it goes. Fortunately, the later result was positive.

Thirty minutes after Shade got the beep notification on her phone, a voice from the speaker on the department wall made an announcement for the short break period

“Are you Ladies going to the cafeteria?" Dickson said as he rose up from his seat
Shade nodded a ‘yes’ answer packing up the remaining documents into her desk cabinet
“Same here too” Tracy added while reaching for her handbag

The three then walked together with Dickson leading the way out of the department exit door to where the cafeteria is.

The cafeteria which was based inside the company’s compound was managed by a group of professional caterers who made both local and foreign delicacies. At one corner of the cafeteria is a section called Cold room where there are assorted drinks while on the wall was a plasma screen to thrill customers with entertainment videos of different sorts.

     Dickson was the first to spot a table with four empty seats in the cafeteria in which they then walked up to the seats and sat round the table. Not quite long after they sat down, a female attendant came over and show them a list of available delicacies. After making their choice, the attendant withdrew herself to bring them the orders from over the counter.
Tracy dropped her handbag on the empty seat left and they all began to chitchat about office work.

    Shade suddenly remembered the notification on her phone and brought out her phone to check it before anything else. She hated having unread messages or missed calls for a long time on her phone without finding out what it is. After dialing the USSD Code for voice message, and followed the voice prompt, she then placed her phone's earpiece beside her ear listening with rapt attention as the voice message read

“I got your message this morning, dear
Thanks for the flattering; and to be sincere, hearing your voice makes me feel better too. Please do flash me when you’re on break, there’s something i need to tell you.
Love you more, Shade”

Though the voice message did not mention the recipient but she instantly knew it was Fred and wonder what could have happen as she sensed anxiety in his voice.
   She was about to dial Fred’s number when a call came in

“Good afternoon sir”
“He should come and submit his CV?”
“Oh, thank you so much sir!”
“Of course, i would tell him ASAP”
“I love you Dad”
“Alright sir, bye”

Meanwhile all the time she was making the calls, Dickson and Tracy had strayed off from work topic and were talking about something else, something funny that they both laugh at intervals.
  The female attendant then brought their orders and left almost immediately

“This people never cease to amaze me with their delicacy” Dickson said mid-way into the food
“Yeah, they’re good. But you need to eat mine someday” Tracy replied while holding a spoonful of fried rice
“Oh? Are you telling me you can cook something like this?
“I actually mean something better”
“You seemed to fit in my type of dream woman?”
"Oh, really Mr Dickson? Shade pause her meal and bursting into laugh 
“ don’t tell me you’re saying that because of food?” Tracy smiled feeling flattered
“Of course, it is ladies. You know, so i don’t get to miss this type of delicacy after i closed for work”
“After you closed for work? That’s more than a girlfriend thing; it’s like sort of a wife”
“If that is, then no problem” Dickson said and drank from the bottled water

  Deep down, Dickson really meant his word even though at that moment, the circumstances which led him to say it was consider to be a joke
    Sometimes he wish he could tell her but couldn't figure out what's stopping him; perhaps maybe the fact that they both work together in the same office or maybe because he thought she must have had a long list of boyfriends more suitable than him for her.

After being through with the meal and settling the bill, they all decided to relax for few minutes before going back to office. Shade thought of using the opportunity and dialed Fred’s number while Tracy decided to make some calls too. Dickson simply launch the Beach Buggy video game on his Android phone in the meantime

“Hello Fred” Shade was glad the latter picked it after dialing the second time
“Am sorry, Shade. I dozed off under a tree while relaxing and didn’t realize you’ve been calling me” A tired voice replied from the other end
“By now, I guess you ought to be at the company we both discussed the previous night"
“Yeah, i ought to but something came up”
“What’s that? Was it part of what you mentioned in the message?”
“Yeah. I made some amendments on my CV through the night, left my PC on the studying table and then…”
“And then, what?
“Some petty thief or rather thieves stole the Laptop before dawn”
“Oh, that’s so bad. We’d talk about this tomorrow, okay?”
“I’ll be fine, As a matter of fact, am feeling better now. You don’t have to bother”
"I know you will, i just want to ensure that”
“Alright then”

    Shade was about to end the call when she remembered the reason why she called him in the first place. The thought of what had been happening to Fred lately almost made her forget

“And ehm, Good news!"
"Gist me. What's that?"
"Dad said you can come next tomorrow in his office with your documents on Monday”
“There’s been an available position at his friend’s company you told me about?”
“Yes dear. I will stop over by your place and give you my laptop and modem to prepare another CV"
“Oh, thank you Shade. I really appreciate…”
“Don’t bother to mention. I think the short break is about to be over, will stop over by your place in the evening to talk better. Take care”

    Immediately she ended the call, Tracy asked if all is well in which Shade only told her about the stolen PC but did not mention the part where the PC was the answer to a job for him that very day. She felt the need not to explain in full details what’s going on. Her friends told her everything is going to be well and that he should be thankful, they didn’t part away with more than that.

Dickson checked his wristwatch and  hints them that the break would soon be over and that they should be getting ready. A friend of Dickson who was about leaving the restaurant saw the three and winked at him. They all knew what that meant

“Even if i marry you both, it doesn’t concern them. Right, Ladies?
Shade gave him a quick glance and shook her head
“I wonder when you’ll get serious” Tracy said and smacked him playfully
“For you, am truly serious” Dickson whispered in his heart

Previously: Love & Struggles - Episode 1

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